Kateeva has announced that it has closed its Series E funding round raising US$88 million in new financing. The funds will accelerate new product development. The money will also help Kateeva expand manufacturing capacity at its Silicon Valley headquarters, where production systems are being built. In addition, the funds will strengthen Kateeva's customer satisfaction infrastructure in Asia, and support continued R&D.
The new Kateeva investors are: BOE, Cybernaut Venture, GP Capital Shanghai, Redview Capital, and TCL Capital, all located in China.
They join existing investors that include: Samsung Venture Investment Corporation (SVIC), Sigma Partners, Spark Capital, Madrone Capital Partners, DBL Partners, New Science Ventures, and VEECO Instruments, Inc.
New Board seats will be filled by an executive from BOE, Redview Capital, and TCL Capital respectively.
The company has raised $200 million since it was founded in 2008.
Kateeva said that it "disrupted" the flat panel display industry when it launched a breakthrough equipment solution to mass-produce flexible OLEDs. Flexible OLED technology gives panel manufacturers greater opportunities in product design innovation by liberating them from the constraints of rigid and glass substrates. It enables panel manufacturers to develop ultra-thin, feather-light displays that are bendable, roll-able, and even fold-able.
Kateeva's solution, known as the YIELDjet platform, uses inkjet printing to perform critical steps in the OLED manufacturing process. Today, YIELDjet tools are helping to accelerate the adoption of OLED technology - a trend that Kateeva believes will take the global display industry to exciting new heights.
The market trajectory is due to the confluence of two trends: first, huge demand for flexible devices made possible by the enabling advantages of OLED technology; and second, the introduction of manufacturing tools like Kateeva's YIELDjet platform that provided a pathway to cost-effective mass-production of flexible OLEDs for the first time.
Alain Harrus, Kateeva Chairman and CEO, said "OLED technology first transformed the viewing experience by giving spectacular color quality and brightness to rigid displays on mobile phones. Now, it's giving extraordinary new shape, lightness and thinness to those products and others that have yet to be invented." Alain added, "Kateeva started enabling this 'freedom from glass' display innovation in 2008 when our founders began pioneering a superior mass-production equipment solution for OLEDs. Today, Kateeva tools are positioned in top OLED manufacturing fabs. Our investors were stalwart partners along the way. We're grateful for their support, and we welcome our new investors."
Conor Madigan, President and Co-Founder, said, "Flexible OLED is the first major application for Kateeva's YIELDjet platform." Conor continued, "Next up is OLED TV," he said. "Having mastered the technical challenges of mass-producing Thin Film Encapsulation (TFE) -- the layer that gives thinness and flexibility to the OLED device, we're now applying YIELDjet technology to help display manufacturers mass-produce the OLED RGB layer, which enables OLED TVs. The new funds will accelerate new product development, and support ongoing R&D."